Using playdough is a basic part of growing up for most children. The good news is, aside from being loads of fun playdough is like a ‘super toy’ when it comes to development – as Child and Family Health Occupational Therapist Britt Woolfenden explains.
“Playdough has a lot of benefits! It provides a really nice sensory experience and it’s good for fine motor skill development” says Ms Woolfenden
“Activities like squeezing and releasing the playdough help strengthen hand muscles and develop control of the fingers.”
Some children can also be sensitive to different textures on their hands. Playdough can help with this.
Playdough costs around $1 a tub, and is one of the cheapest toys you can buy. Or you can make it at home from common pantry items (see recipe ideas below).
Making your own playdough offers an added experience for children as they can help you mix and measure. Just make sure there’s adult supervision as some recipes involve using the stove top or boiling water.
“Children usually start to enjoy using playdough from around 18 months of age,once they get past the stage of exploring toys with their mouth” says Ms Woolfenden.
The possibilities of playdough are endless You can roll, squeeze, mould or cut. You can even mix in lentils or dried pasta to increase the sensory experience or hide a small plastic toy (like a toy dinosaur) inside a ball of playdough for your child to discover!